Chemistry and Biochemistry

  • Student working in tissue culture hood

Graduate Program Information


     General information:

     Application process:

  • For your convenience, CSUN has an ON-LINE APPLICATION (CalState Apply), through which you will need to submit your transcripts, GRE scores (if submitting) and TOEFL/IELTS score (if necessary).
  • NOTE: in addition to the minimum CSUN requirements for application, the following are required for applying to the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department:
    • Minimum recommended GPA from previous postsecondary programs is 3.0. You must have earned a bachelor's degree in Chemistry, Biochemistry or a closely related subject, or have taken numerous upper-division chemistry and/or biochemistry courses (plus calculus) in preparation for this program.
    • If your cumulative postsecondary GPA is lower than 3.0, you are required to take the general GRE and submit your scores as part of your application. Please have scores sent to school code 4707.
    • A personal statement (maximum 2 double-spaced pages) must be submitted directly to the Graduate Coordinator. Please DO NOT upload to CalState Apply, as the department will never receive it. Contents should include (but are not restricted to) a narrative about your motivation to join the Master’s program, a description of previous research projects you have done (if any), what you’d like to do after obtaining the degree, and an explanation of gaps in your academic record (if you have any). In addition, the personal statement must mention what subdiscipline you are interested in pursuing and the names of a couple of faculty in our department with whom you might want to do research (and why). 
    • Provide at least one letter of recommendation (cannot be a form letter) that addresses your specific skills, especially those that are relevant to research.  Please have the referree send their letter directly to the Graduate Coordinator, either via email (from the referee's institutional or company email address) or regular mail (see address below). The letter (electronic or physical) must be provided on letterhead (from the institution or company at which the referee is employed) and include the referee's signature. At the same time that you submit your personal statement, please let the Graduate Coordinator know the name(s) of people providing letters so that the committee will know what to expect to receive before evaluating your completed application.
  • We currently do rolling admissions. You are therefore encouraged to submit your application early (because we may fill up our available slots before the final admissions deadline). Please see the university admissions calendar for deadline details.
  • Please note that submission of all required materials does not guarantee admission to the MS Chemistry or Biochemistry program; admission decisions are dependent on a number of factors, including (but not limited to) the grades received in relevant courses, the quality of the materials submitted, and the number of available spaces in a given program at the time we receive the application.
  • You can enroll in classes once Admissions and Records has received the application and you have been assigned a File Number. The official notice of acceptance often comes after the assignment of the File Number so that you can register for classes even though you might not have received an official notice of acceptance. If not, you can enroll in chemistry or biochemistry classes via Tseng College Open University if you wish.







  • Contact the Graduate Coordinator to get the dates/times of upcoming required Proficiency Exams. These are standardized, multiple choice exams from the American Chemical Society. You take them using a pencil darkening a circle for the answer you think is correct. Your answers are compared to a special key provided by the Society. There are no essay portions. Practice tests and/or study guides for some subjects can be purchased from the ACS.
  • For students that have been accepted to the MS Chemistry program, you must pass exams in any three subjects (Analytical, Biochemistry, Inorganic, Organic or Physical). For students that have been accepted to the MS Biochemistry program, you must pass exams in Biochemistry and Organic as well as one other Chemistry subdiscipline. If you do not pass a particular exam you will be able to gain proficiency by taking the corresponding course and obtaining a B. See the Graduate Handbook (in the "After Admission" section, above) for more details.
  • If you want to study for these exams, review your textbooks (Review Topics).

 Email the Graduate Coordinator about the MS Programs in Chemistry and Biochemistry


Graduate Coordinator
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Eucalyptus Hall, room 2102
18111 Nordhoff St. 
California State University, Northridge 
Northridge, CA 91330-8262

PHONE: 818-677-3381

FAX: 818-677-4068